Raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12 (at least), questions around stop and search and police powers and recognising the impact on victims.
These are just some of the issues Includem has raised in it’s evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee work on the draft Age of Criminal Responsibility (Scotland) Bill.
We have welcomed the proposed age of 12, but only as a step in the right direction – we think Scotland should join the majority of European nations who have a higher age.
Lynsey Smith, Includem’s Head of Services, who served on the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Bill said:
“Includem was pleased to be part of the preparation for this Bill and to share our experience working with young people who are often caught up in the criminal justice system at a very young age.
“The Bill strikes a good balance in many areas, but there is work still to do to make sure children are fully able to recognise and exercise their rights, particularly in areas around police interview and stop and search.
“This legislation is a positive step forward, but as the United Nations says – 12 is the absolute minimum – there is a way to go yet before Scotland is world leading in this area”.
Our full response